The Messy Truth About Kids’ Screen Time


Absolute rules about children and technology don’t help, says a child development expert.

The belief that screen time IS ROTTING OUR KIDS’ BRAINS AND BODIES is getting a do-over.

Before and particularly during the pandemic, parents, physicians and researchers have been gravitating to a more nuanced message that might be both comforting and confusing: Screen time or technology can be good for children but also bad. It depends.

Dr. Colleen Russo Johnson, a child development expert and mom, said that it’s long overdue to move away from extreme and unrealistic views about children’s screen time. She told me that there are few absolutes about what children should or shouldn’t do with technology and media. And it would be helpful if caregivers weren’t made to feel judged no matter their choices.

“We have to stop looking at this as a black-and-white issue,” Dr. Russo Johnson told me. “You don’t want your kids always glued to screens. That is common sense,” she said. “But these things are not evil. There is a lot of variety, and everything is not created equal.”


I like how this article shows the other side of the coin when regarding children being exposed to screens, even though it is a simple article about this subject. A lot of content can be found with strong opinions about both sides. However, usually, the most content you find regarding these topics is really alarming and put a lot of weight on parents’ shoulders. This discussion has been increasing with the fast smartphone and tablet access growth, but since the invention of television this problematic has been taken into consideration in research, newspaper articles, and common sense. We live in a world where screens are literally everywhere. Demonizing a technology is probably not the right way to deal with the problems it may have. And blaming parents that are already living with all the pressure of raising a human being is also not a nice path to go through.


Ovide, S. (2021, July 26). The messy truth about kids’ screen time. The New York Times. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from